Fraudulent Caravan Dealers

Updated: Mar 09, 2023 | Nick Roy Ainge | 4 mins. read

With the boom in caravan sales, we have seen a growth in our industry being targeted by fraudsters.

Typically the fraudsters set up a fake dealer website that offers cheap used caravans. They advertise these sites heavily on Google to drive unsuspecting buyers to the site. Take a few deposits online, close the site and start again with a new URL.

This harms everyone in the industry. Unsuspecting caravan buyers are having their deposits stolen, which is effectively a sale stolen from a real dealer. It is also potentially a customer lost to the industry.

In addition, as they tend to advertise heavily on Google, they drive up the cost of everyone who advertises on Google and competes with them.

How to Spot a Fraud Site

They are aggressive in Google ads.

If you are running Google ads, you can find them in your “Auction Insights”.

Auction insights show you who you are competing with on Google. 

There are 2 ways to check the Auction insights.

Method 1

Create a dashboard in Looker Studio and have it emailed to your inbox each month

To create your dashboard, click here.

We have highlighted 3 fraud sites in this dashboard.

Method 2

Log into Google ads

– Click on “Keywords” on the light grey nav on the left. 

– Click on “Auction insights” in the drop-down. 

*This can be done on an account level or campaign level.

In the below example, we have 2 different fraud sites (highlighted) competing with us: 

ARcaravans appears 33% of the time this clients target keywords are searched and Amazing Motorhomes 12%. 

They are aggressive. This drives up the cost per click and by extension the cost per lead for every other advertiser targeting the same keywords. 

Typical we see them targeting broad terms like:

– Caravan for sale

– Cheap caravan for sale 

– Caravan for sale NSW

– Caravans near me

– Etc, etc.

If you see brands or dealers, you don’t recognise in your Auction Insights, visit their website.    

5 Things the Fraud Sites Have in Common

1. Typically they use similar templates:

This one currently used by AR Caravans has been used on 5+ sites in the past year.

Same site, this time Cracking Campers:

You can copy and paste the below into Google search to find the latest version:

We sell used caravans as well as motorhomes. We are dealers for Jayco, Supreme, Windsor, Coachman, Swift and Roma plus we sell plenty of used caravans from many different manufacturers with layouts and budgets to suit everyone.”

2. Contact Details: 

No matter what template they use, we generally find 2 different location addresses on the site (see below) or a phone number for one state and an address in another.

This is part of how they get the deposits. They state to the unsuspecting buyers that the caravan the buyer wants is in a different state; if they pay a deposit they will ship it over or something similar.  

 3. Stock: 

 Stock generally has been lifted from multiple other sites and/or private sellers. EG this is from the Sydney RV Group.

4. Jayco-Focused:

Jayco is the biggest brand with the most demand, so they tend to focus on Jayco stock.

5. Pricing: 

If something looks to be good to be true, it generally is. These sites tend to have stock very cheap for what it is worth.

Some Fraud Dealers We Have Found Previously and Reported to ACCC

What to Do When You Spot a Fraud Site

As soon as you find one, report it to the ACCC via their Report a Scam form.

We are working with the ACCC to help them understand the scale of the problem and shut down these fraudsters as quickly as we can.

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